How is the common cold treated?
There is currently no cure for the common cold. Through treatment you can get relief from your symptoms to get the rest you need to keep up your strength and recover without developing complications.
Treatment of a cold includes:
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for fever, sore throat, and body aches
Drinking extra fluids
Getting extra rest and sleep
Over-the-counter cold remedies
Currently, the general recommendation is that children under the age of six not use cold or cough medications because of the risk of serious side effects. In addition, people with a cold should not use aspirin or products that contain aspirin because of the risk of developing a rare but life-threatening condition called Reye syndrome. Reye syndrome has been linked to taking aspirin during a viral illness, such as a cold or flu.
Antibiotics are not prescribed for colds because they are ineffective against the viruses that cause colds. However, antibiotics may be prescribed if a person develops a secondary bacterial infection as a complication of the common cold, such as bacterial pneumonia or acute bronchitis. In rare cases, antiviral drugs may be prescribed for a cold.
Complementary and traditional treatments
Complementary and traditional treatments will not cure a cold but may help to minimize symptoms, increase comfort, and promote rest. Treatments include:
Supplements or products that contain vitamin C or echinacea
Chicken soup can help to break up congestion and provides easy-to-digest nutrients and extra fluids to keep up strength.
Using mentholated ointments on the chest
Using a vaporizer
What are the possible complications of cold?
In some people, the common cold can break down the body’s defenses and lead to more serious infections. Complications of cold can be serious, even life threatening, in some cases. People most at risk for complications include:
Infants and toddlers
Complications of a cold include:
What is the common cold?
A cold, often called the common cold, is an extremely widespread upper respiratory infection. Colds are caused by a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, including the nose and throat. There are about 200 different types of viruses than can cause a cold. The common cold is one of the most common illnesses. If you have a cold, you’re not alone. Each year, there are more than... Read more about common cold introduction
What are the symptoms of the common cold?
Symptoms of the common cold are generally mild and appear two to three days after exposure to a cold virus. Symptoms can vary depending on the specific type of virus causing the cold. Common cold symptoms include:... Read more about common cold symptoms
What causes the common cold?
Colds are caused by viruses called rhinoviruses. There are about 200 different types of rhinoviruses that can cause the common cold. Despite popular belief, colds are not caused by being wet or cold, although in some cases these conditions may lower the body’s resistance to infection by rhinoviruses.... Read more about common cold causes